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Iron Man: Marvel Begins

Iron Man

The archives here at eol are testament to the fact that I’ve been salivating about the Iron man movie since it was first announced back in June of 2006. However having seen one or two movies in my time, coupled with my nature as a ‘glass half empty’ kind of guy, I’ve been getting really nervous about just what the final results would be. Would Iron Man live up to the internet hype? More importantly (from my perspective) would John Favreau and Robert Downey Jnr have any hope of achieving the level of expectation that has been percolating in my awesome expectation gland for the past 23 months?

For the last few of those months I’ve been wary of posting about the Iron Man movie. Regular readers know that I’ve been looking forward to the film, and there was a real danger of this becoming iromanonline.com if I’d reacted to every new trailer, rumour, or bit of released footage to hit the net (of which I’ve watched, read, and re-watched everything). The fact is that at this point in time any comments that I make about this film will be lost in the glut of reaction which is already flooding movie nerd blogs all over the web… But, screw it, this is my little corner and this post is really intended for you, the few regular readers who’ll hopefully take the time to read this. As opposed to those who are sick of hearing about the film by the time they stumble across this post. Those people wont even read this far, so I’m going to call them assholes, safe in the knowledge that they’ll never hear about it.

John Favreau’s acting credentials currently out number his directing figures by a factor of four to one. But based on his results with Iron Man, I think it’s fair to say that this differential will be one that we see close over the next few years. Favreau understands these characters, he understands their relationships and personalities. He also understands that Tony Stark’s journey to becoming the man, driven to don the metal suit — not the one he uses to save himself, but the one he uses to save others — is exactly that, a journey.

Stark isn’t bitten by a radioactive spider, he doesn’t come from another planet, he isn’t cosmically chosen and he isn’t doused in gamma rays. He has his eyes opened by the sacrifice of others. As such this is a movie more about people than it is about explosions (which there ARE plenty of!). I don’t want to spend too much time talking about the details of this movie, mostly because everyone else is, but I sincerely recommend that you make the effort to see this movie. It’s a mature action flick which treats the viewer like an adult, but manages to be great fun at the same time. I saw it with a mate who knows nothing of the Marvel Comic Universe and he was blown away — I’m sure you’ll be seeing his efforts to explain the film here soon enough — so don’t let a lack of familiarity with the characters dissuade you.

Iron Man manages to start something too. It is exactly what I’d been hoping would happen and have written about many times here on EOL. Iron Man, as a movie, stands on it’s own. But it also establishes that Marvel Studios are putting into action, on film, exactly what it’s been doing for decades in comic books. Iron Man, and the upcoming Hulk film, are indeed parts of a greater whole. Without being overly dramatic (or too fanboyish – if that’s even possible), not only did I see a move today, but I believe that I may have witnessed the first part of a major movie event. The scale of which I don’t believe has ever been attempted before.

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6 Comments

    I heard Tony Stark went 12 from 12 of the Maxim cover girls…rumour has it March and him had a scheduling problem, so thankfully December they were twins.

    Loved this movie. Loved it A LOT!

    Best comic book movie since Batman Begins. Raises the bar impossibly high for Marvel now.

  • RDJ and Favreau (and everyone else in this film) have certainly made it hard for the HULK flick now. Not only does it have to better the Ang Lee movie, but now it has to compete with the coolest superhero film ever made.

    Have there been better superhero movies? Maybe. Has there been a ‘cooler’ superhero movie? Not that I can think of.

    To answer a question you asked after the movie Morgs, the next Marvel Studios schedule reads thusly:

    Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk – 2008
    Ant-Man, Captain America, Thor – 2009
    Nick Fury – 2010
    The Avengers – 2011

    Dr.Strange and Black Panther are also on the list, but they haven’t been given release dates yet.

  • As I’ve voiced before in EOL’s corner of the world (which he graciously shares with the rest of the nerd world…),
    the success of converting anything to celluloid (digital?) swings on a very fine thread. There are very few who have done it successfully.

    Peter Jackson immediately comes to mind.

    That said, and having not yet had the opportunity to see the movie, (it is on my to-do list) judging someones’ ability to direct based on their ability to act is like comparing an AFL players ability to commentate based on his ability to kick a goal. (Maybe this isn’t the best comparision on a ‘nerd’ heavy website…)

    I’m desperately hoping that Favreau’s perceptions to the big screen have been fairly judged by those putting this responsibility on his shoulders. Too many talented directors have been hung out to dry by those who control the purse strings.

    By all accounts, based on the words above, his spin on this has been an unmittigated success.

  • Macca (good to hear from you), I wasn’t comparing his ability to act to his ability to direct, I was merely pointing out that, until this point, he’d been doing more of one than the other. And that I expected that to changed based on the fact that he did such a great job of directing Iron Man. Sorry if that was unclear in the initial post.

    I hope you get the time to see it soon dude. Like I said in my reply to Morgs, you may not end up thinking it’s the best superhero movie ever made (IMO it’s gotta be damn close) but I bet its the most fun!

  • Actually, I was agreeing with you in that JF has seemed (by all accounts) to have earned his stripes and the rights to change the ratio of actor vs director.

    Far be it for me to cast dispersions against the opinions of the a host who offers a nerd haven in an often desolate cyber space.

    I agree with you that the interest in this movie (for me) will be to see how RDJ handles the Stark character.

    It is the sort of character that has real depth (some would say flaws) in character traits; similar to those displayed by the Dark Knight.

    Bring on a spare moment!!

  • […] pop onto my blodr radar. First of all I have yet to see Iron Man. I’m assured it’s pretty damn good. The box office figures agree, too. So I consider the movie something of a stored credit, a […]